Addiction to heroin is a disorder that can lead to a series of harmful behaviors or conditions. If the signs and symptoms of heroin addiction are identified in good time, then an individual has better chances of getting the treatment they need to get their lives back on track.
A Heroin addiction problem is diagnosed under a category referred to as “substance-related addictive disorders.”
The primary symptom of heroin addiction is having a problem with repetitive use, which often leads to a series of clinical impairments or distress.
The symptoms vary based on the addiction levels of an individual.
An individual with a heroin addiction problem will find themselves struggling to control their intake. They will continue to use heroin regardless of the harm it might be inflicting on their health, even if the destructive nature of the drug is evident.
Repetitive craving for heroin can also be categorized as an addiction problem. Despite expressing a desire to quit the use of the drug, you will find that an individual is unable to stop using it.
The symptoms of addiction can vary from one person to the other. The family history of an individual and their current circumstance also contributes to the extent of the addiction problem.
Psychological symptoms of heroin addiction that result in mental disorders exhibit the following traits.
- Inability to resist using the drug:
In most cases, in this kind of dependence on heroin, the patient would have tried a few times to avoid the drug unsuccessfully. This might be a physiological problem because heroin can cause a chemical addiction, and if the patient attempts to stop using it, they will develop withdrawal symptoms.
Therefore the cycle of using and abusing the drug despite harmful implications on the health of the addict. The patients continue using the drug even as their health deteriorates.
- Using heroin as a stress-coping mechanism
A person with a heroin addiction problem will turn to the drug for comfort or to relieve stress.
Obsession is where the patient will do anything literally to obtain the drug, including stealing money to get it. In most cases, these people always end up on the wrong side of the law.
- Taking risks
A patient with a heroin addiction problem can take a lot of risks to obtain the drug. Some would go to the extent of trading the drug for sex, or stealing, selling drugs, or becoming beggars to get money for the drugs. When they are under the influence of heroin, they might risk their lives, especially if they are allowed to drive or if they engage in violence.
- Overdosing in the initial stages:
This is a common mistake that people with heroin use disorder always make. A person can consume large quantities of the drug to get high quickly.
Using heroin repeatedly can impact the normal functions of the body in several ways.
- Withdrawal symptoms:
If a person is used to heroin, they will experience some physical symptoms when the levels of the drug drop. These symptoms can include cravings, diarrhea, trembling, constipation, seizures, or uncharacteristic behaviors such as violence.
- Changes in appetite:
Heroin interferes with a person’s appetite. At times, it reduces the user’s appetite, while in other patients, it tends to increase the user’s appetite.
- Organ damage or risk of other diseases:
Heroin can cause a lot of damage to a person’s limbs or cause functionality problems to their arteries and veins, and at times, this can develop into a complication that can lead to the loss of a limb. Regular intake of heroin can lead to chronic liver complications.
Insomnia is one of the symptoms associated with withdrawal. Abusing heroin can disrupt the sleeping cycle of an individual. Craving the drug might also force an individual to stay up late to attend parties or go out in search of the drugs
- Changing of a person’s appearance:
If you are close to someone who is struggling with a heroin addiction problem, you might begin to notice a change in their appearance. They begin to appear more tired, disheveled, and haggard, as using the drugs makes up the most parts of their day. They have no time to attend to personal hygiene.
If you have been noticing these signs in your loved one, it is time to call the California Addiction Treatment Center in Auburn. We will take you through counseling and ways to help your loved ones to overcome heroin addiction.